Reprinted from the July 2008 Eyefinity Advisor Newsletter.
Eyewear can affect performance in various sports. It doesn't matter if it's a child engaged in organized sports, a weekend warrior or a daily athlete - if they are participating in sports, you should know that the color of lenses can impact the athlete's visual acuity.
Many sports activities involve a ball moving at speeds from moderate to very fast, depending on the age and skill of your children, their teammates and their opponents. And quite a few sports such as soccer, basketball and field hockey, also involve physical contact between opposing players. Balls traveling at fast speeds and with lots of force - combined with physical contact - creates situations where a player can get hit in the eye and/or suffer blunt force trauma. Whether children wear prescription eyewear or not, eyewear protection should be considered.
When choosing colors for sunglass lenses, the key factors involve the need for seeing true colors versus enhancing depth perception and contrast. Because gray lenses maintain color integrity more than any other color, they are the best all around choice for any outdoor activity. Gray lenses also flatten light, which helps the wearer maintain normal depth perception. They are the best choice when true color perception is most important.
Green lenses have very similar qualities to gray lenses, in that colors remain true.
Brown lenses will heighten depth and contrast in variable light conditions. (This could be very helpful to soccer players who generally play on grassy fields.)
Amber or yellow colors are intended for use in flat to hazy light conditions, and offer the high contrast necessary for high-speed, high-altitude sports such as skiing, by filtering out blue light which makes focusing difficult. They provide greater clarity in low light or foggy conditions. However, yellow lenses are known to cause color distortion.
Blue and purple lenses are not recommended for any use, other than as a fashion accessory. The blue/purple colors increase the contrast-destroying characteristics of blue light.